Nick Ciarelli, or Mr. dePlume as I was first introduced to him, had a really good track record, the kind that made you think he was Johnny Ive leaking out information to create buzz or a Fake Steve Jobs, but with real insider knowledge. My personal favorite was Think Secret's prediction of the first ever iPod a week before its debut. The source called it a 'music-type' recorder/player, but not your average MP3 player. How right they were. At the time, there were several sites suggesting that the Oct. 23, 2001 "exciting product announcement" was going to be about a new Newton-like device. Ring one up for Think Secret.
AppleMatters had an interesting take on Nick back in October 2006. The site tracked and measured how accurate Think Secret was over a two-year period. According to the site, Nick had 11 correct predictions and 8 incorrect predictions... not bad. But it was his 11 missed announcements that amused the editors. And they were some dillys: Intel Inside, Boot Camp, AppleTV, a video iPod to name a few.
Some Apple pundits are now suggesting that Think Secret's settlement is a serious blow to bloggers. I disagree. Bloggers in general are gaining credibility in legal circles and Nick still has a firm legal leg to stand on. The Supreme Court has ruled that journalists can't be prohibited from publishing information that's lawfully obtained.
For anyone needing a daily dose of Mac news, there are still a multitude of prediction sites like Apple Insider, MacPredict.com, Xenomachina, Everything Apple, and Apple Unwired. Think Secret fans posting to the site's forum also point out that posts to Digg should still keep up the buzz meter as we approach Macworld 2008.
But after eight years, it might be a good thing for Nick to retire from Think Secret. Here's a man who claimed his site received an average of 2.5 million page views a month. After the lawsuit was filed, the number of page views jumped to 5 million.
If anything, Apple should be thanking people like Nick Ciarelli for keeping a constant lookout for Apple products. There aren't that many companies out there that have such a deep and dedicated fan base.
So we can Think Different. We can think for ourselves. But we can't Think Secret anymore. Good luck, Nick.
Feel free to chime in with your thoughts... What are you hoping to see at Macworld 2008?